Delirium by Lauren Oliver

One original story. Two people breaking the law. A crazy romance.

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Delirium was a refreshing, shocking and electryifying read.  And it is far from the  dystopian love stories, which are filled with the clichés, that fill our book shelves today. I think one of the reasons I love Delirium is so great is because the concept is so unique. It is world where love is disease. Yes you read it right! Love, or scientifically know as amor delirium nervosa has to be eradicated. In the past, there were dark days, days of struggle; the infected would always roam the streets. People would murder, steal, lie and go insane for it. But now there’s a cure. It is a dystopian future, with emotionless people wandering the streets, and all the cards are held by the government. They know everything and can do anything. They decide your partners, your jobs, everything. Some people argue that it really just complex emotions that separates humans from other animals, but now we’re in a world where everyone is just heartless . Parents, for example, show no love for children, display no signs of affection. Sometimes they kill their children. And they don’t care; they don’t mean anything to them. As I said earlier, the governments have the power to do anything; that means random raids on peoples’ houses, phone taps and regulators patrolling the streets. Why? They are all searching for the same thing; signs of  love.

I thought that the characters were captivating.  Lena, the main protagonist and written from her point of view, is a perfect citizen. An orphan, Lena is looked after by her aunt and Lena abides by every rule and can’t wait until she’s cured. It’s the only life she’s known, but as the book progresses she finds out the whole society is lie. I liked the way Lena’s character developed, as a consequence of the events that took place in the book. I love that she goes from a quite, timid, overlooked girl to a brave, bold, strong teenager who eventually finds herself. And finds someone else… someone who changes her world. I am, of course, talking about Alex, who is a caring boy with an extraordinary past.

I thought that the society that Oliver created seemed genuine, although I would have preferred it more if there was more back-ground information surrounding it, because I think that it would of made the book even more of a success. I think that other books in the genre do this better than Oliver, yet I can’t say many write better than her! Oliver writes haunting prose, that really begs to be poetry!

I do have some questions though about the society though, which I guess ties in with the plea for more background information. At the very beginning of the book, we are told that same-sex relationships are called Unnaturals and that’s it. Nothing else. I would of like to know more about this; do they get cured early, do they get put with a partner or do they sent to the Crypt? I hope this topic will be covered more thoroughly in the other books in the trilogy.

I really enjoyed reading all the quotes at the beginning of each chapter because they helped me put together the puzzle, as well as being interesting. To add that I felt that they added another dimension to the novel.

I definitely think that Delirium is worth a read and that you’ll quickly fall in love the characters and Oliver’s style of writing! I also think, that if anyone doubt’s that the YA is just as good a genre as any other and has it it’s place in our bookshelves today then they should look no further. Oliver’s work is a perfect example that YA  fiction deserves to be a renowned as any other type of genre.

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More Than This by Patrick Ness

How many books do you know that start off with; “Here is the boy, drowning.” Because once you’ve killed off the main protagonist, (in the first few pages) where can you go from there? Quite far, it seems.

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Seth wakes up, in what he believes to be a hell created especially for him, bruised, naked but alive. It looks like the world has ended. Dust coated cars. Houses have been completely abandoned. There is no one in sight. No one anywhere. To add to that, Seth can’t remember anything about his previous life, except the little he receives through his vivid dreams.  Confused and hopeful for answers, Seth is desperate for there to be more than this…

I loved that, despite some of them being shorter than I would of liked, nearly all the chapters ended in a gripping cliff-hanger, making it impossible to put down! The powerful, intriguing characters that fill the novel only add to it, described so intricately that imagery is easy. I also found the book terrifying and frightening because the some of the thought-provoking ideas in the book, whilst not gruesome, could potentially become true in the future.

Not sure what I’m talking about? Pick the up the book and read it for yourself! An action-packed, fast paced thriller, full of twists, is a perfect half-term read. I read More than this as part of my reading challenge to read a book at the bottom of your book pile, and I’m so glad I did. This is not one of your typical dystopian YA reads; It perfectly captures the eternal question that each generation of teenagers asks themselves, is there more than this? And if you’re not careful, you’ll ask yourself that, too.